Shilpa Rao’s collaboration with Anoushka Shankar earlier this year, on the album ‘Love Letters’, has got the ‘Best Global Music Album’ nomination for the Grammy Awards 2021. The Bollywood singer who has given hits like ‘Ghungroo’ (‘War’), ‘Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo’, ‘Bulleya’ (‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’), ‘Meherbaan’ (‘Bang Bang!’) and ‘Khuda Jaane’ (‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’) among others is excited, after all, even this nomination is an achievement. Talking about the nomination of Anoushka’s album of which she has sung the song, ‘Those Words’, Shilpa says, “All credit to Anoushka for the whole concept of the album. We did the video during the lockdown. This was a simple message of love that people needed more than ever during the pandemic. What this album stands for all of us is that no matter where you come from, all that matters is your message through your song and if the message is love then it will always reach somewhere very nice.”
When asked about Anoushka’s reaction on getting nominated, she says, “We have an online group of the album and so all of us have been in touch. There was a lot of exciting exchanges, congratulations and best of luck went on in the group all through the night.”
Shilpa believes that winning or not winning an award is a part of life and through her music she intends to create something which people will like. “Even if we do not win this we will again go to the studio and make music. Nothing can stop us, I make music to create something which people will like and not for awards. Both failures and successes will always be there and it keeps fluctuating. I would love to collaborate again with Anoushka, as it was interesting to create the album with her and the entire women team. Talking about awards, I have done good work in the past as well for which I did not get any awards but it did not stop me. People liking my work keeps me motivated to create good music and also helps me grow as a human being,” she concludes.
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SARA ALI KHAN VISITS AJMER SHARIF WITH AMRITA SINGH
AJMER: Sara Ali Khan on Friday paid a visit to holy place Ajmer Sharif Dargah and wished her fans ‘Jumma Mubarak’. The ‘Kedarnath’ actress, who was accompanied by her mother and actress Amrita Singh, took to Instagram and posted pictures from their visit. Sara and her doting mother were seen twinning in green traditional ensembles. In the pictures, the ‘Love Aaj Kal’ actress can be seen sporting designer olive green suit salwar and a matching face mask. Amrita is also seen wearing a similar coloured outfit. The duo can be seen with their heads covered as they wear a holy turmeric yellow dupatta around their necks. Sara captioned the post as, “Jumma Mubarak”.
‘MUMBAI SAGA’ TRAILER HAS GUNS, GANGSTERS AND GORE
NEW DELHI: After a long wait, the trailer of John Abraham and Emraan Hashmi-starrer ‘Mumbai Saga’ has finally dropped, and it’s all about guns, gangsters, and gore. The three-minute-long trailer of the Sanjay Gupta directorial features high octane action scenes from the lead actors of the film, who appear to be at loggerheads with each other. While John portrays a gangster who aspires to rule Bombay, Emraan plays a cop who wants to kill John and win the prize money of Rs 10 crore. Sharing the trailer on his Instagram handle, John quoted his dialogue from the movie in the caption and wrote, “Bandook toh sirf shauk ke liye rakhta hoon, darrane ke liye naam hi kaafi hai – Amartya Rao. Presenting the trailer of saga of the year! #MumbaiSaga Trailer out now. Film in cinemas on 19 March 2021.”
The earlier released teaser of the film introduced John as a gangster who “rose from the streets of Bombay to rule Mumbai” while Emraan as a cop who “rose from the ghettos of Bombay to stop Amartya Rao”.
Set in the 1980s and 1990s, ‘Mumbai Saga’ also stars Suniel Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Kajal Aggarwal, Prateik Babbar, and Gulshan Grover among others. Earlier scheduled to hit theatres on 19 June 2020, ‘Mumbai Saga’ has been produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Anuradha Gupta, and Sangeeta Ahir. The highly-anticipated gangster drama is now all set to hit the big screens on 19 March this year.
PARINEETI CHOPRA’S MOTHER MAKES A PAINTING TO CELEBRATE ‘THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN’
Parineeti Chopra is extremely proud of her mother, noted artist Reena Chopra, as she has made an incredibly special painting to commemorate her forthcoming release ‘The Girl On The Train’. The painting showcases a girl standing in front of a speeding yellow train, much like Pari’s character in the film.
“My mother surprised me with this painting, I was not at all aware that she was making this for me. As most know that my mother is a professional painter and she sells her artwork but this one won’t be sold as it is very precious. She has immortalised my work in ‘The Girl On The Train’ through her art and this is the sweetest, warmest and most special gift that I have ever received from her,” says Parineeti.
She adds, “She has never done this for any of my films before so this shows the impact the content of ‘The Girl On The Train’ had on her. I’m overwhelmed and at the same time, I’m feeling on top of the world.” Parineeti’s parents are the biggest pillars of strength for her and she has made special plans to put up this painting in her plush new house in Mumbai.
She reveals, “My parents have been my biggest cheerleaders all through my life and I feel incredibly special to be their child. She has been my pole star, helping me navigate my path in this world and I don’t have words to express what I’m feeling right now. This precious painting will be at my home and will constantly motivate me to do more films which will get her to do more such paintings for me.”
‘The Girl On The Train’ is an acclaimed book written by Paula Hawkins. It was made into a Hollywood film starring Emily Blunt in the lead in 2016. In the Bollywood version, Parineeti plays the eponymous girl taking the train, an alcoholic divorcee, who becomes involved in a missing person investigation and uncovers deeper secrets. ‘The Girl On The Train, directed by Ribhu Dasgupta, premiered on Netflix on 26 February.
SALMAN, KATRINA, EMRAAN ATTEND PUJA BEFORE GOES ON FLOORS
Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Emraan Hashmi, who are all set to start shooting for their upcoming outing ‘Tiger 3’, recently attended a puja before the film is scheduled to go on floors. The movie is slated to begin filming on 8 March in Mumbai and the lead actors of the film attended the customary puja at YRF that happens before every film goes on the floor. Director Maneesh Sharma, who is helming this massive franchise now, also attended the puja.
An eyewitness revealed, “Salman had come to YRF to shoot for ‘Pathan’ with Shah Rukh Khan recently. As we all know YRF is creating the biggest spy franchise in the history of Indian cinema, and SRK and Salman will appear in each other’s films. Since Salman was coming to the studio, the team planned the puja on the same day and also invited Katrina for the same. Maneesh and Emraan too were part of this puja.” The source further said, “On its 50th year, YRF is rolling out the biggest films being made in Bollywood or the Indian film industry today. ‘Tiger 3’ is being mounted on a scale that has not been seen before and so is ‘Pathan’.”
“It is going to be an incredibly visual and entertaining extravaganza for audiences when these films will release in theatres. The energy was palpable during the puja. All the cast members were thrilled to be taking the story forward of the ‘Tiger’ franchise. They spent a good one hour with each other before Salman went to shoot for ‘Pathan’,” the source added.
The upcoming film will mark Emraan’s maiden collaboration with YRF. The actor is set to play a villain in the movie. ‘Tiger 3’ will have Salman reprise his role of R&AW (Research & Analysis Wing) agent Avinash Singh Rathore aka Tiger, while Katrina will be seen playing the female lead.
Travel the world with sly granny’s new cocktail series
Travel to exotic destinations may be on hold for the moment, but the enjoyment accompanying travel need not be affected. Sly Granny, Azure Hospitality’s swanky bar and restaurant, now offers exotic flavours from around the world to discerning Indian consumers. This exclusive series, known as The Explorer’s Club, serves cocktails inspired by travel and the experiences that go along with it. The concept promises to run a unique edition every quarter, with the first one being christened ‘Wanderlust’.
Every cocktail introduced as part of this series, pays homage to some of the most famed bars of the world. The menu consists of eight signature drinks inspired by celebrated creations of masters of this trade, albeit with Sly Granny’s particular flair. The drinks on the menu owe their genesis to some of the best establishments in the world, including Harry’s Bar in Venice, Long Bar in Raffles Hotel Singapore, Dante in New York City, American Bar in Savoy Hotel London, and Bar Hoshi in Tokyo.
Dante, the historic Italian bar located in Greenwich Village, influenced Sly Granny’s gin-based cocktail ‘The Italian’, which is exclusive to this series. Exuding a hint of exotic spices, this drink has a smooth and striking flavour. The American Bar at the Savoy is the inspiration for the vodka-based drink, ‘The Doctor’, replete with a distinct aroma of ginger and beetroot. White rum-based beverage ‘The Shogun’, evokes the rich creaminess associated with the signature menu of Bar Hoshi. The most luxuriant cocktail of the first edition of this series, however, is the ‘The Host’, inspired by creations of the iconic Harry’s Bar, known to have been frequented by Ernest Hemingway and others of his ilk.
Conceptualised by renowned Mixologist Gunjan Pal, this new cocktail menu is a nod to the classics with a modern twist. “I have always studied and been inspired by some of the most famous mixologists through history, and this menu is my way of making a mark among these stalwarts. I am most excited about the tinctures we are giving away to our guests, as I believe they make an interesting addition to a guest’s evening. They are great for personal use or for entertainment. When enjoying these tinctures at home, I hope our guests recall Sly Granny with fondness”, says Pal with a smile. A man of many talents, Pal is the head mixologist for all Azure brands across India. Under his able guidance, Azure’s bar menus have acquired a strong name in this competitive industry. Today, every Azure brand, and Sly Granny in particular, prides itself on its innovative cocktails that are appreciated by one and all.
Azure Hospitality was founded by Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri in 2009 with its maiden venture Mamagoto, opening doors in 2010. Literally meaning “to play with food”, this Asian restaurant shot to fame almost immediately upon its launch. The team behind Azure has always focused on creating a strong narrative around each of its brands, evident through their dedication to providing unique and diverse experiential dining. Their core strength is being aware of changing trends and the dining patterns of consumers. Since it first opened, Azure’s operations have expanded across the country to include a variety of restaurants—Dhaba Est. 1986, a kitschy North Indian restaurant; Foxtrot, known equally for its coffees and cocktails; Sly Granny, a concept bar inspired by the prohibition era; Sly Granny Café, a casual dining space serving comfort food; as well as QSR brands such as Speedy Chow, Maalgadi and Biryaniwala.
The new travel series cocktail menu is available exclusively at Sly Granny, Khan Market in New Delhi and Indiranagar in Bengaluru, with cocktails priced at Rs 449++. Patrons are treated to specially curated tinctures on billing above Rs 1,500 in Delhi, which ensure the wanderlust stays strong even at home.
Tips to plan a destination birthday for children
The past year has taught us that modest weddings and birthday parties provide the same amount of pleasure, if not more, than the expensive and over-the-top celebrations mandated by our social status. Though weddings still tend to be large affairs, birthdays are best celebrated through intimate gatherings at home, or for the more adventurous, through travel. Children especially appreciate the novel experience of a well-planned destination birthday party. If you are planning one for your child, here are a few tips that will help you make it a truly momentous occasion:
1. ASK YOUR CHILDREN WHAT THEY WANT
Every child has a distinctive personality and interests. By letting them guide you on the choice of destination based on their interests, the destination birthday is far more likely to be successful. Do they love the water? Choose a beach holiday. Are they fond of animals? Go for a safari.
2. PICK A DESTINATION NEARBY
It is much easier to organise a birthday trip when you visit a place that you can drive to. Having your own car allows you to transport extra luggage with ease. Further, the shorter the time it takes to reach your destination, the longer the enjoyment of the actual getaway.
3. CHOOSE SOMETHING OFF THE BEATEN PATH
A less-frequented destination ensures exclusivity and a certain level of uniqueness. With smaller boutique hotels or home stays, you have the advantage of booking the entire place for your party, allowing you to enjoy the space as if it were your own.
4. PREPARE A SMALL GUEST LIST AND SEND INVITES BEFOREHAND
Destination celebrations are enjoyed best with smaller groups of people, and with the pandemic, this principle has become even more important. It is prudent to limit the invitees to immediate family members or the closest of friends. Be sure to give everyone advance notice so they may change any prior appointments and allow you to do the booking without hindrance.
5. PREPARE THE DAY’S ITINERARY IN ADVANCE
Planning the activities for the trip beforehand will save you a lot of time and effort later. Especially for the day of the birthday, have a rough timeline in place—from meals to cake-cutting, gift-opening to any special activities that you may have planned. Treat it as you would a regular birthday party that needs to be planned from start to finish.
6. SEARCH FOR LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
Whatever destination you choose for the birthday, do your research on the local attractions beforehand. You will be surprised at the number of lesser-known gems you will come across to make your visit especially memorable. Look for blogs or go through forums on various travel portals. Google’s Local Guides and review feature are very helpful for on-ground research.
7. CHOOSE A LOCAL VENDOR TO PROVIDE THE CAKE
The cake is one of the most important parts of any birthday celebration, and children usually have very specific demands for their birthday cakes. Instead of opting for a generic cake from the hotel’s in-house bakery, look for a local baker to do the job. Facebook groups and hashtag searches on Instagram are the best untapped resources for tried and tested recommendations provided by locals. Reach out to a minimum of 5-6 bakers, so that you can find one closest to your specifications and budget.
8. KEEP SMALL TOKENS AS MEMORABLE GIVEAWAYS OF THE HOLIDAY
It is not necessary to spend exorbitant amounts of cash on useless tokens as return gifts or giveaways for your guests. Instead, you should attempt to DIY or create something specific to your child’s interests and the chosen destination. An example could be a small photo-frame in which a picture from the holiday can be inserted.
9. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES
Talking of pictures, do not forget to document the various memories you are sure to make on this trip. Use a DSLR camera if you have one, otherwise your phone will do. Just make sure you have enough memory on your device!
A destination birthday is the best gift you could give your child in these unprecedented times, as experiences are always cherished more than possessions.
The writer is a lawyer who write lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.
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